Archipelago and Seoul Settle Patent Disputes

Seoul Semiconductor based in Ansan, South Korea, reported that it and Seoul Viosys Co., Ltd. have resolved two patent infringement lawsuits it filed against Archipelago Lighting, Inc. in the U.S. Federal District Court for the Central District of California. Archipelago sells LED bulbs.

In 2017, Seoul filed the company’s first patent infringement lawsuit against Archipelago for the alleged infringement of twelve LED patents covering various aspects of Seoul’s long-established Acrich technology. A few months afterward, Seoul filed a second patent lawsuit against Archipelago accusing the company of selling additional products that infringe eight other Acrich technology patents.

In the lawsuits, Archipelago acknowledged that several third-party suppliers produced the LED components in its LED bulbs. Although Archipelago admitted that the company had no knowledge of any Seoul Semiconductor patents, it did not dispute that the LED bulbs in question infringed Seoul Semiconductor’s patents. According to Seoul, Archipelago also did not dispute the validity of the relevant its patents and agreed to pay a license fee as part of its commitment to respect the intellectual property rights of others.

Court Ruled in Seoul’s Favor Due to Archipelago Admissions

The California Central district court ruled in favor of Seoul Semiconductor in these cases based upon Archipelago’s admissions. Seoul’s asserted patents include technologies for LED chip fabrication, LED epitaxial growth, LED packaging, filament bulb LED structures, LED drivers for high-voltage operations, and Acrich MJT (multi-junction technology) for high power LED chips operating at 6V.

Seoul Semiconductor--Archipelago patent dispute diagram

Seoul says its Acrich technology enables high-voltage operation with a high power output using only a small number of LED chips. Specifically, Acrich technology employs the company’s proprietary LED driver technology to enable high-voltage operation, as well as its proprietary MJT technology for mounting and integrating numerous LEDs within a small area. Seoul says this arrangement maximizes the available space in LED products and increases power efficiency by 20%. Also, Seoul says the space saving design aids a simple circuit design and significantly reduces the size and cost of LED products.

Nam Ki-bum, executive VP of the lighting department at Seoul Semiconductor, said, “While Seoul will continue enforcement actions to prevent unauthorized use of Acrich technology, we will offer a license program with reasonable terms for companies that recognize and respect the value of Acrich technology. This will promote the distribution of innovative technology products in the market.” He added, “For young entrepreneurs and small entities that wish to pursue technology innovation, this will help them achieve business success, while Seoul continuously works to encourage a fair competition market where intellectual property rights are respected.”

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